Apple has limited AirDrop sharing for Chinese users to 10 minutes in the most recent iOS version. Unfortunately, the change means that permitting AirDrops from anyone indefinitely is no longer possible.
According to TechCrunch, iOS 16.1.1 in China changes the “Everyone” sharing option within AirDrop to “Everyone for 10 minutes,” which will apparently be rolled out globally later this year.
This setting allows iPhone users to get content from other iPhones even if the sender’s phone number is not in their contacts. Unfortunately, the new time restriction makes receiving files from strangers nearly impractical.
The function is one of China’s few unfiltered communication mediums, and the announcement comes after posters criticizing the repressive Chinese Communist Party’s government were extensively spread using AirDrop.
Apple has not revealed why the modification occurred, but it is not the first time the corporation has altered its products for the Chinese market. For example, it had previously ceased including the Taiwan flag emoji on Hong Kong iPhones.
The tech giant has imposed other region-specific limits. Users in the EU, for example, are not permitted to exceed the authorized EU Volume Level due to hearing measures.
Users of Apple products such as iPhones and iPads can utilize AirDrop to share files with other device owners wirelessly. Bluetooth Low Energy and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi technology are used to send transfers. AirDrop’s default setting is “Contacts Only,” and users must manually modify the setting to receive files from “Everyone.”
Regardless of where the user’s App Store account was registered, the new time-limited AirDrop feature apparently appeared on all iPhones sold in China.